When We Were Young 2023 Preview

Back in 2017, emo-punk revival fest When We Were Young was born in California, but then seemingly disappeared – only to return last year, now in the Las Vegas...
When We Were Young
When We Were Young

Back in 2017, emo-punk revival fest When We Were Young was born in California, but then seemingly disappeared – only to return last year, now in the Las Vegas Festival Grounds. Thankfully, fans young & old haven’t had a repeat long wait, as it’s coming back to Sin City on the weekend of October 21st & 22nd (with the same big line-up both days):

Green Stage


Green Day, 10:00 PM

Las Vegas welcomes one of the most successful punk bands ever, Green Day (QRO photos at a casino). Billie Joe Armstrong, Tré Cool, and Mike Dirnt emerged out of the late eighties/early nineties Bay Area punk scene and burst onto the world with 1994’s Dookie and such earworm singles as “Longview”, “Welcome To Paradise”, and “When I Come Around”, bringing punk rock to the masses. Unlike many of their fellow early nineties alt-hits, Green Day (QRO live review) have stayed highly popular into the twenty-first century. They had their 2004 Bush era rock-opera American Idiot (that was later turned into an actual Tony-winning musical), 2009’s follow-up 21st Century Breakdown (QRO review), and even an honest-to-god triptych, ¡Uno! (QRO review), ¡Dos! (QRO review), and ¡Tré! (QRO review). They come to headline When We Were Young (QRO photos headlining a ’22 festival) behind 2016’s political Revolution Radio (QRO review) and 2020’s Father of All Motherfuckers (QRO review), not to mention 2021’s massive ‘Hella Mega Tour’ (QRO live review) of actual baseball stadiums and last year’s more intimate shows (QRO ’22 live review).

Green Day

The Offspring, 7:35 PM

When We Were Yong has punks from all decades, and in the nineties slot is California’s The Offspring (QRO photos), who hit it big back then with Smash and songs like “Come Out and Play” (the one with the “You gotta keep ‘em separated” chorus). While never basking in critical acclaim, they have continued to be a top-selling punk act to this day (QRO photos at a festival), even getting a reappraisal by those know-it-all critics, so they (QRO photos at a festival) are perfect for When We Were Young (QRO photos at a festival).

The Offspring

Good Charlotte, 6:05 PM

One of the most successful emo-punk bands, Good Charlotte (QRO photos at a festival) have had the whole career arc: early boom, marrying Hollywood stars (frontman twins Joel & Benji are married to Nicole Ritchie & Cameron Diaz, respectively), critical backlash, hiatus, return, re-appreciation by their now-older fans – and so naturally now When We Were Young.

Good Charlotte

Sum 41, 4:45 PM

Another major early aughts emo-punk act at When We Were Young (QRO photos at a festival), Sum 41 (QRO photos) was a young hit with All Killer No Filler and Does This Look Infected?. They’ve had their ups & downs since then (including surviving fighting in Congo thanks to Chuck), but have most recently announced that their next album, Heaven and Hell, would be their last, so catch them while you can (QRO ’22 photos).

Sum 41

5 Seconds of Summer, 3:25 PM

Emo-pop even comes from Down Under, in the form of 5 Seconds of Summer (QRO live review). While they began as YouTube celebrities, they’ve since become one of the most successful Australian musical acts ever (QRO photos), and come to When We Were Young (QRO ’23 photos) behind last year’s 5SOS5.

5 Seconds of Summer


Yellowcard, 2:05 PM

They are naturally acts at When We Were Young who got big, broke up, and reunited years later, such as Yellowcard (QRO photos at a festival), who broke up in 2016 (QRO photos in ’16), and reunited last year behind anniversary performance of their breakthrough Ocean Avenue. They come to Las Vegas behind this year’s first post-reunion music, Childhood Eyes EP.



Something Corporate, 12:55 PM

The Ataris, 11:45 AM

The Ataris

Pink Stage


Blink-182, 8:25 PM

Emerging from the southern California punk scene, Blink-182 (QRO photos) kept things light with their youthful energy and humor, and became MTV mainstays with “What’s My Again?”, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, and more. They grew up a bit at the start of this century/millennium’s first decade, before singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge left and the group entered into “indefinite hiatus” (which saw drummer Travis Barker at one time get his own MTV reality series). But Barker, DeLonge, and singer/bassist Mark Hoppus reunited in 2011 for the well-received return Neighborhoods (QRO review), before DeLonge left again in 2015 (to pursue his interest in the UFO cover-up conspiracy…). So, Barker & Hoppus recruited Alkaline Trio singer Matt Skiba (QRO photos together at a festival) to keep it going (QRO photos headlining a festival).

But after Hoppus endured a successful treatment for cancer, he and DeLonge reconnected, leading to this year’s full-on reunion, including new album One More Time…, out the day before When We Were Young!


Thirty Seconds to Mars, 6:50 PM

It would have been easy for pretty boy actor Jared Leto to go the pretty boy actor route (literally played “Angelface” in 1999’s Fight Club, but don’t talk about Fight Club…), but he has done different things, like his Oscar-winning portrayal of a transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club, to forming 30 Seconds to Mars (QRO live review) with guitarist Tomo Milićević and drummer/brother Shannon Leto. Of course, he only moved into the emo-heartthrob arena, hardly a huge jump, but of course has found huge success and huge crowds of fans (QRO photos). They come to When We Were Young (QRO photos at a festival) with their big show (QRO photos at a ’23 festival), just after It’s the End of the World but It’s a Beautiful Day. It’s Morbin’ Time! (QRO photos at a festival)

30 Seconds to Mars

Rise Against, 5:25 PM

Chicago punks Rise Against (QRO photos at a festival) may have moved to major label status over a decade ago, but they’ve kept up their output, such as 2017’s Wolves (QRO review) & 2021’s Nowhere Generation (QRO review), and political agitation, from the straight edge lifestyle to endorsing vegan-friendly Vans shoes.

Rise Against


All Time Low, 4:05 PM

Kind of the definition of emo-rock from a certain period in time, from their three-word name to starting by covering When We Were Young ’23 headliners Green Day & Blink-182 (see both above), All Time Low (QRO live review) come to Las Vegas (QRO photos at a festival) behind this year’s Tell Me I’m Alive, 2020’s Wake Up, Sunshine, after 2017’s Last Young Renegade, 2015’s Future Hearts (QRO review) and 2012’s Don’t Panic (QRO review).

All Time Low

Pierce the Veil, 2:45 PM

From the San Diego punk rock scene came Before Today; from Before Today came the post-hardcore outfit Pierce the Veil (QRO photos), who rocked out until a hiatus five years ago (QRO photos just before), only to get back together this year (QRO ’23 photos) behind new album The Jaws of Life, and play When We Were Young for a second year in a row (QRO photos at a festival).

Pierce the Veil


New Found Glory, 1:30 PM

New Found Glory (QRO live review) emerged on the leading edge of the second wave of nineties pop-punk and have somehow kept on going, as they Make the Most of It (QRO photos at a festival).

New Found Glory

Motion City Soundtrack, 12:20 PM

Catch the synth-led emo-punk of Motion City Soundtrack (QRO live review), who broke up back in 2016 (QRO photos at a festival), but you can’t keep a good city or soundtrack down, so reuniting in 2019 (QRO ’20 photos) and now come to When We Were Young (QRO photos at a festival).


Fenix TX, 11:10 AM

Motion City Soundtrack

Ghost Stage



Vancouver’s EKKSTACY (QRO ‘22 photos) comes down to Vegas behind last year’s debut full-length, misery.


Lit, 9:55 PM

Check out the band that once played on Pamela Anderson’s backside, Lit.


Joyce Manor, 9:20 PM

Punks Joyce Manor (QRO photos) return to rock When We Were Young for a second time (QRO photos).

Joyce Manor

Set It Off, 8:45 PM

From a YouTube channel to their own pop-punk band, Set It Off come to When We Were Young behind last year’s Elsewhere.

Set It Off

Less Than Jake, 8:10 PM

Gainesville natives, Less Than Jake (QRO spotlight on) emerged out of the ska and punk revivals of the early-to-mid-nineties, combining both and managing to stick around through nine-and-counting albums (QRO live review). Fronted by singer/guitarist Chris Demakes & singer/bassist Roger Manganelli (QRO interview) – though their words are written by drummer Vinnie Fiorello – the band (QRO photos at a ‘22 festival) has gone through many line-up changes, but still keeps to ska roots with a trombonist, Buddy Schaub, and saxophonist, Peter ‘JR’ Wasilewski. But Johnny Quest thinks they’re sell-outs for playing When We Were Young… (QRO photos at a festival)

Less Than Jake

Thrice, 7:35 PM

What began as another rock band has expanded into much more, as Irvine, California’s Thrice (QRO photos at a festival) have taken their music into seemingly every experimental direction, including now at When We Were Young (QRO photos at a ‘21 festival).



Simple Plan, 6:45 PM

The emo-pop/punk done in Canada is naturally better than that in the States, and that holds up with Montreal’s Simple Plan (QRO photos at a festival), who have played everything from the 2010 Winter Olympics closing ceremony to an Olsen twins movie. They’re truly Taking One For the Team.

Simple Plan

Saves the Day, 6:10 PM

Saves the Day (QRO photos) is one of the bands that basically founded and invented the emo sound, and frontman Chris Conley (QRO solo photos) has kept it going, despite line-up changes around him [QRO’s editor thinks they were better with then guitarist/kid he grew up with Dave Soloway…].

Saves the Day

Relient K, 5:25 PM

Bringing some contemporary Christian alt-rock to When We Were Young is Relient K (QRO ’22 photos).

Relient K


Beach Bunny, 4:50 PM

Beach Bunny popped up on radars with their debut Honeymoon (QRO review) in 2020 – just before everything shut down. But we’re back, and they’re now at When We Were Young (QRO photos), with last year’s great Emotional Creature (QRO review).

Beach Bunny



Hot Mulligan, 4:15 PM

The Academy Is…, 3:40 PM

Finch, 3:05 PM

Citizen, 2:30 PM

No Pressure, 1:55 PM

Jaden Hossler, 1:20 PM

Now More Than Ever, 12:45 PM

Zebrahead, 12:10 PM

Magnolia Park, 11:35 AM

The Academy Is…




Stripe Stage


KennyHoopla, 10:20 PM

Cleveland rapper KennyHoopla (QRO photos at a festival) asks, How Will I Rest in Peace if I’m Buried by a Highway?


Jean Dawson, 9:45 PM

Catch the Mexican-American experimental pop of Jean Dawson.

Jean Dawson

Bowling For Soup, 9:10 PM

Check out the animated ska-punks Bowling For Soup (QRO photos) at When We Were Young (QRO photos at a ’23 festival), because for them, “High School Never Ends”.

Bowling For Soup

AJJ, 8:35 PM

Phoenix folk punks AJJ cross the Colorado River to play When We Were Young.


Waterparks, 8:00 PM

Houston punks Waterparks head from the Gulf of Mexico to the Mojave Desert for When We Were Young.


Say Anything, 7:25 PM

Los Angeles pop-punk outfit Say Anything (QRO photos) defended their genre in 2007’s In Defense of the Genre, but broke up before the release of 2019’s Oliver Appropriate. Of course, they got back together last year, and of course are at When We Were Young.

Say Anything

Movements, 6:50 PM

Rancho Santa Margarita post-hardcore outfit Movements (QRO photos at a festival) comes to move When We Were Young (QRO photos at a ‘22 festival).


The Front Bottoms, 6:15 PM

New Jersey punks The Front Bottoms have only been growing since their 2011 self-titled debut full-length (QRO review), and rock When We Were Young (QRO photos at a ’22 festival) behind this year’s You Are Who You Hang Out With.

The Front Bottoms


Gym Class Heroes, 5:40 PM

MXPX, 5:05 PM

Plain White T’s, 4:30 PM

Turnover, 3:55 PM

Goldfinger, 3:20 PM

The Wrecks, 2:45 PM

Tigers Jaw, 2:10 PM

Michelle Branch, 1:35 PM

The Veronicas, 1:00 PM

The Movielife, 12:25 PM

Knuckle Puck, 11:50 AM

Games We Play, 11:15 AM

Gym Class Heroes



The Wrecks


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